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Mohammed film protests turn violent
Mob threatens US embassy, ignores call for calmProtesters demonstrate outside the embassy
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- September 17, 2012
Police used water cannon to try to disperseÂ at least 1,000 protesters whoÂ attempted to enter the embassy grounds after attacking riot policeÂ with rocks. AtÂ leastÂ one policeman was injured.
Violence flared despiteÂ an earlier appeal from Masdar Farid Masâ€™udiÂ a senior figure from the Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Islamic organization in the country.
HeÂ had urged Muslims to stay calm and not be provoked by the film, Innocence of Muslims, which has caused a wave of violent protests across the Islamic world.
â€śIf they are provoked and things turn violent like in Libya and some other countries, then the filmmakerâ€™s bad intentions will beÂ fulfilled,â€ť Masâ€™udi said in his appeal.
The 14-minute film directed by Sam Bacile portrays the Prophet Mohammed as an immoral sexual deviant.
Several protestsÂ against the film, which was posted on video-sharing website YouTube, haveÂ already taken place across the country, including one involving at least 500 peopleÂ in Jakarta on Friday, but all were realtively peaceful until today.
Meanwhile, the government has welcomed a decision by Google to restrict access to the controversial anti-Islamic film.
â€śGoogle, which is YouTubeâ€™s parent company, emailed us on Thursday evening to say it had blocked access to 16 URLsâ€ť related to the Innocence of Muslims on the site, a spokesman for the Communications and Information Ministry said yesterday.
Extracts of the film were still available on YouTube yesterday, but he said Google was â€śmaking special effortâ€ť to prevent the filmÂ from being watched in the worldâ€™s largest Muslim-majority country.
â€śWe understand that it takes time for Google to block everything. We appreciate Googleâ€™s cooperation,â€ť he added.
Google last week rejected a White House request to take the film down from the site but agreed to limit access in several countries.